Sencor S-4800 restoration

Boomboxes from Sencor are the only Swiss boomboxes out there. “Designed in Switzerland”, made most probably in Japan. Well, at least the label for Sencor S-4500 says “Made in Japan”, whether this applies to S-4800 nobody seems to know. By looking at cassette mechanism it may be easy to tell who made these boomboxes for Sencor: JVC, Philips, Sony,… I am not in the know, but maybe someone looking at the photos will be able to recognize the mechanism.

Here is the final result of Sencor restoration with a bit of extra beautifying:

Below are my efforts to restore S-4800 to its original state, Continue reading Sencor S-4800 restoration

Best headphones for Pono player


Once you take the plunge and get balanced cable for Pono, you must be deaf not to hear Huge improvement in sound quality. Compared to the “real world” outside of our heads and headphones, the improvement is comparable to bi-amping or setting the speakers into active mode. According to Pono info flyers, this is exactly what is happening. One of two headphone amplifiers is turned off when Pono is in a single-ended mode. Once Pono is set for the balanced mode, both internal amplifiers are used, one for each channel. Continue reading Best headphones for Pono player

Black Gate capacitors and “snake oil” in home audio


Having nothing better to think about, I was trying to remember when and why did I fell in love with Black Gate capacitors. I must have learned about their existence from reading audio-porn at DIY or some audiophile site. Black Gate caps were the top-shelf audio-grade electrolytics produced by Rubycon. Quite expensive while in production, outrageously priced nowadays, the name should not be mentioned at any respectable DIY forum. The consensus seems to be that the specs of modern-day electrolytics far exceed those of Black Gate caps. This may be so, but not quite conclusive for me because specs alone do not tell the whole story. The specs of any $50 CD player are the same as those of $100k+ dCS stack and always better than the specs of Continuum Caliburn turntable, unless you actually listen you never know Continue reading Black Gate capacitors and “snake oil” in home audio

Balanced Sennheiser cables for PONO player

I presume that you have already upgraded Sennheiser cable and have the original one to play with.

The first thing to do is to cut off its 3.5mm (or 1/4″ on HD-650) stereo plug. At this stage cable may be shortened to the desired length: Sennheiser cords are not of the best quality (that’s why we have so many aftermarket cables) so the shorter it is, the better.

Continue reading Balanced Sennheiser cables for PONO player